New Tool Aids Geologists’ Research Capabilities

28 04 2009

BySam Alcorn, Bucknell Univeristy

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Quiz: What’s 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 3 feet high?

Answer: Bucknell University’s newest research tool, a re-circulating, tilting sediment flume.

It’s so big it takes up an entire room in the O’Leary Psychology and Geology Center, a room appropriately called the Flume Room.

In fact, when the center was under construction for opening in 2002, the building’s power, ventilation and floor drainage systems were designed to accommodate the flume, which arrived in two trailer-truck deliveries this past month and is currently being assembled much like a giant Lego set by a three-man crew from Engineering Laboratory Design Inc. in Lake City, Minn.

Custom-designed for Bucknell, the sediment transport flume will help Department of Geology faculty and students “better understand sedimentary and geo-morphological processes and allow the modeling and study of large natural river systems,” said Craig Kochel, a professor of geology and co-director of the Bucknell University Environmental Center.

“Many flumes are narrow, designed primarily for the study of flow hydraulics. Our wide flume allows for the study of the geomorphic form of river channels – giving it the space for channels to form and evolve,” Kochel said.

To read the entire article please visit the source at Bucknell University.




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